‘The Freedom Struggle was not so much a struggle of black people against white people, it was a struggle against injustice & oppression, a struggle for freedom, equality & fairness.’ – Theunis Pienaar (1971 – )
We’re The Traveling Tribe.
We Travel the Eastern Cape, South Africa & Africa.
Not in the plastic-resort kind of way.
The past five weekends we’ve been exploring our own city.
Trying to show how awesome this Afropolitan city, in which we live & from which we travel, is.
This past weekend was our last weekend, before we venture into the Eastern Cape again.
For us, the great thing about traveling, is that you get to expand your being.
While being together.
As parents, it affords us the opportunity to start conversations.
To share ideas.
As we meet new people.
As we listen to thoughts & ideas.
As we see, touch, feel.
Zuko & I have been to the Red Location museum before.
It is a venue often used for functions & events.
We’ve not been there with our children.
Earlier this month, as part of our Nelson Mandela Bay Explore, we spent time in the Red Location Precinct.
Walking the streets.
Meeting the people.
It is one of the oldest townships or locations in our city.
The museum remembers the ‘Freedom Struggle’.
It honors the people who weren’t satisfied with the status quo.
The people who sacrificed, so that South Africa may know ‘justice’, ‘freedom’, ‘equality’ & ‘fairness’.
‘Apartheid’ is a terrible part of our country’s history.
It is immensely terrible, especially, because the government which designed ‘Apartheid’ & implemented it, came through a ‘freedom struggle’ of their own & should’ve known better.
They fled religious persecution.
They fled economic oppression.
They ‘trekked’ deeper & deeper into Africa, seeking political freedom.
They suffered destruction through the South African War.
Still, when afforded the opportunity to ‘create’ their world, they created a world which persecuted & oppressed all over again.
Walking through the Red Location Museum, spending time in the ‘memory boxes’ I was overcome by the realization: ‘Governments have immense responsibility, determining the freedom, justice & kindness of a country. This was true in 1948, it is true in 2012.’
I also realized something else.
‘South Africa has seen enough struggle.’
‘We need a flourish.’
‘A flourish of justice, freedom & kindness.’
For us to enter this ‘flourish’, it is important to grasp that none of our struggle was against people.
It wasn’t against the French.
Or the Roman Catholics.
Or the British.
Or the English.
Or the Afrikaner.
All of our struggle was for values.
For a society deeply rooted in ‘kindness’.
As I throw my gaze at our global environment, I see the same.
A new struggle.
Congregating around values.
The hope that ‘freedom’, ‘justice’, ‘equality’ & ‘kindness’ would flourish.
Perhaps, having come through so much struggle, South Africa may lead the way.
In this ‘flourish’.
Embracing all of our history.
Not as a history against.
But as a history for.
Failed & filled with pain & loss & destruction.
But still a history for.
Perhaps, as we embrace each other, as people who value this, we’ll step to the front.
Showing a new way.
It astounds me that South Africa, after all the struggle of the previous centuries, embraced Western Democracy & Capitalism.
The very systems inside of which so much of the oppression were born.
Perhaps, as we are honest about our collective desire, to create a new kind of world; one in which freedom, justice, equality & fairness is the heartbeat, the rhythm – perhaps we’ll creatively find a new way, separate of power & control.
Separate of manipulation.
The Apartheid-government manipulated the white people of South Africa into being complicit in their destruction.
This is what governments do, it seems.
For their own ends.
For whatever motivation.
Perhaps we could find a new way of governance, which isn’t governance in the western-modernist sense.
A way of governance which is enabling.
For this I pray.
For this I write.
That in our time, from Africa, would come to life a new way.
Drenched in justice, freedom, equality & kindness.
Then we would be honoring all the struggle.
Then we would flourish.